On her arrival in Madrid yesterday Annie Leibovitz told reporters that ‘Madrid was a magical place, like Paris due to its immense cultural creativity’. Tomorrow the doors to an extensive exhibition of her work, described as a type of ‘family album’, will open to the general public in Alcalá 3.
The exhibition which has also been on display in Paris, New York London and Berlin contains more than 200 images representing the artist’s intimate family life as well as her more well known photographs of world famous personalities. It is the result of collaboration between PHE 2009 and the Brooklyn Museum of New York where the exhibition originally went on display in 2006.
The idea behind the exhibition was a family album and the exhibition represents a type of personal diary of the artist showing photographs from her trips to Sarajevo, Venice, Berlin, Kyoto and Cairo alongside photos of her parents and children (who you can see growing year by year).
Photos of the death of her father appear together with photos from the birth of her 3 daughters Susan, Sarah and Samuelle. Leibovitz said she wanted to ‘represent the idea of birth, life and death which forms the story of every human being’. There are also photos of the last moments of Sontag, who died of cancer. Leibovitz said that she had a few doubts over whether to include these photos but she says that many people who have lost a relative under similar circumstances have thanked her for including them in the exhibition.
The exhibition also includes photos of celebrities such a pregnant Demi Moore who she photographed for the cover of Vanity Fair as well as Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Johnny Depp, Nelson Mandela Jack Nicholson the ex US presidents George W.
Bush and Bill Clinton.
There are also some photographs of buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao which Leibovitz describes as ‘a very sexy building’. A documentary called ‘Life through a lens’ by Barbara Leibovitz will be shown on 19th and 25th June, 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th July and 3rd September.
Leibovitz was the last person to photograph John Lennon before he was assassinated in New York. She always carries her camera with her and has spoken out in favour of digital photography saying that it allows the photographer to take photos in the dark or at a very high speed. She says it’s just a matter of ‘knowing how to use new resources’
The exhibition will be open to the public until the 6th September.